Companies introducing features that are similar to those used by their rivals is nothing new. It's something Facebook knows all about; Instagram - owned by the social network - is again borrowing heavily from Snapchat with "Stories," which allows users to post content that disappears after 24 hours.
Much like the version found in the ephemeral photo/video app - also called Stories - the Instagram feature lets users share photos and videos in a 10-second long slideshow format. You can add emoji, drawings, text, and swipeable color filters to your photos.
Stories appear as a row of small profile photos at the top of your feed, sorted by who you interact with most. When new stories are created, a rainbow-colored ring will appear around a user's picture. It's also possible to see the stories of people you don't follow, as long as they've made them public.
Unlike Snapchat, viewers can move through the stories at their own pace. You can jump forward, back, and pause the slideshow, or swipe to go straight to another person's story.
You won't find hearts or a feedback section in the Stories feature; instead, you can comment on something with a tap that sends a private message to the user's Instagram Direct mailbox.
Facebook acquired Instagram back in 2012 and reportedly tried to purchase Snapchat a year later, but the company refused its $3 billion offer. The social media giant now seems to be introducing a number of features to both Instagram and Facebook that are "influenced" by those found in Snapchat, something that hasn't gone unnoticed by many of its employees.
Instagram Stories will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks on iOS and Android.